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Combining Websites, is there a benefit?

     
8:31 pm on Sep 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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We have two different sites selling the same merchandise. One is a PR 3 site and the other PR 4.
In the past, the PR 3 website did 75% of sales and the PR 4 did 25%. Currently the sales mix is 90% the PR 3 and 10% PR 4.

For various reasons the PR 3 site is more popular and we spend quite a bit on advertising on it. I believe this trend will continue.

What impact on the PR 3 site will forwarding all pages of the PR 4 site to the PR 3. Will we gain traffic to the PR 3 site, if so, can it be quantified. Or, should we just leave as current?

Any comments or questions are appreciated.
4:54 pm on Sept 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Can you do it bit by bit and monitor? E.g. select a few pages (or a category of pages) on PR4 site and 301 redirect them to the equivalent pages on PR3 site. Wait a few weeks and monitor what it does to your traffic (and impact on conversion) on both sites.

If the impact is negative, you can revert. If the impact is neutral or positive, you can decide to take another section or to redirect all remaining pages.
8:25 am on Sept 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Make sure your redirect is from a relevant page to relevant page.

It's not a good idea, though, to redirect everything to, say, the home page of your destination site. Possibly, you might redirect pages in a category of the redirected site for which there's no close match to an appropriate main category page of the destination site.

The redirected pages should be similar enough to their target pages that your site visitors are happy with where you've sent them. In truth, it's probably best if they don't notice that there has been a redirect.

One of the things you need to consider when you do such a redirect is how the inbound links relate to the title and content of the destination page.

Most of the SEO value of the link juice and anchor text of the source page should be transferred to the new destination page... but if there's a combination that doesn't mesh right, you may end up dropping some ranking phrases. OTH, you might also end up gaining some ranking phrases. I would try to keep your taxonomy in mind as you make your redirects. More than merely PageRank is involved. I assume you're planning to use 301s.
1:37 pm on Sept 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What if the trend doesn, t continue? Having a backup site might come in handy at some future point.
3:23 pm on Sept 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I combined a couple of websites. The main drawback is losing the link juice from loads of random (probably low-quality, but unsolicited) links to minor pages that build up over the years. You may be surprised by how many of these links your site has attracted, especially if it's been around a while. But the benefit of having just one website to keep updated outweighs the negatives, IMO.
7:38 pm on Sept 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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What if the trend doesn, t continue? Having a backup site might come in handy at some future point.

This.

Always have a strong website sitting in the bushes for the day Google smacks you stupid.

If you don't have a strong second website, I'd be curious what the backup plan is. Unless it's 'nothing', which is what most people use as their backup plan.
 

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